It was remarkable how many companies have begun development and research for broadband capabilities in public safety, when I attended the Association for Public Safety-Radio Operators (APCO) conference in Houston in August.
The latest devices and 3G/4G infrastrucure are all moving in the direction of what is known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) or WiMax. Either way, devices will move in one of two directions — proprietary solutions like the ones current law enforcement agencies experience with vendors, or open architecture devices that work along any radio spectrum on any device.
Most of us now have a cellular device or smartphone that we take for granted and can't wait for this week's new applications to come out.
Notice that in public safety, we have many capabilities in DNA, prints, biometrics, and yet we have no field capability. Not for long. Finally, police executives and IT professionals in public safety are demanding these new capabilities in RFPS and program development.
As the current hand-held radio on your belt and the phone in your pocket merge, you will be able to do many new things quickly in the field:
- Check prints
- Run suspects
- Facial recognition
- License plate reading by the device
- Check probation/parole records
- Check criminal records
- Access past arrest and crime reports
The list goes on and once true open architecture devices are built, possibilities are only limited by our collective imagination. It's a great time to be a cop!